Former Middlesex Sheriff Guy Abbott is a free man Thursday after the guilty verdict on two bribery charges was reversed. Abbott was found guilty on Aug. 9 of soliciting bribes from two employees, one for $300 and another for $120. Abbott was facing sentences of 2 to 10 years in prison on each bribery count. Prior to Abbott’s sentencing, his attorney raised the question of Abbott’s intentions when he asked the employees for the money. Virginia Assistant Attorney General Shannon Dion argued Abbott’s intentions were clear, saying the employees had a feeling their jobs would be in jeopardy if they did not comply. In November, Abbott was voted out of office after three terms as sheriff by 346 votes to David Bushey, a former Middlesex County Sheriff’s deputy.
A 22-year-old Hampton man was hospitalized and three schools were placed on lockdown after a shooting Thursday morning on Hampton Roads Avenue. The altercation was between two men who knew each other, during the incident, one of the men brandished a firearm and shot the other man, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the lower torso. Sgt. Jason Price of the Hampton Police Division said the school lockdown was a precaution and the children were not in danger at any time. Police are looking for 24 year-old Jerell Overton of Hampton. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
OCTOBER 9TH OPENS UP THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR “HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE” — FOR THOSE WHO NEED FINANCIAL HELP TO KEEP HEATING THEIR HOMES; THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS NOVEMBER 9TH. YOU CAN GO TO YOUR NEAREST SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE AND FILL OUT THE APPLICATION — OR YOU CAN GO ONLINE TO THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES WEBSITE. IT’S FEDERAL PROGRAM WITH INCOME-BASED QUALIFICATION OF 130% OF THE POVERTY LINE. THAT’S ABOUT $30,000-A-YEAR FOR A FAMILY OF 4… OR A LITTLE OVER $19,600 FOR A FAMILY OF 2.
A Portsmouth couple is going to prison for embezzling nearly $3 million from a Virginia Beach commercial real estate company. 41 year-old Terri Lynn Nagy-Phillips and her husband, 42-year-old Craig Phillips, pleaded guilty in July to one count each of conspiracy and wire fraud. Court records show company checks were deposited in the couple’s bank account or written to businesses to pay for goods and services that they bought. Nagy-Phillips received a 12-year prison sentence Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Craig Phillips was sentenced to nine years in prison during a separate hearing. The couple also must pay about $2.87 million in restitution.
The state moved Thursday to reverse a wrongful death verdict in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech while the parents of two students killed want the university’s president to stand trial for failing to alert the campus when the first gunshots rang out. A jury in March found the state negligent in the deaths of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde and awarded their families $4 million each. A judge in June upheld the negligence finding but reduced the jury’s award to $100,000 for each family. Besides accountability, taking University President Steger to trial would also increase the prospect of larger damages for the Petersons and Prydes, perhaps up to $2 million from the state’s risk management plan.
The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Monday, Oct. 15. The Constitution of Virginia requires that citizens be registered in the precinct in which they live in order to be qualified to vote. Qualified residents who will be 18 years old on or before Nov. 6 may register to vote in this election.
If a registered voter’s address has changed, the voter should update his/her address to ensure he/she remains qualified to vote. For information visit the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov